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If you still haven’t made it to Harrisburg to stand and be counted in the state budget fight, tomorrow is another great opportunity with the Rally for a Responsible Budget, sponsored by the CLEAR Coalition.

Thousands of people will travel from all across Pennsylvania to participate in the rally and meet with their elected officials. The event’s speakers will be ordinary people – custodians, teachers, health care workers, seniors – people who would experience the disastrous effects if the Corbett budget proposal goes through. When policymakers are in Harrisburg debating the budget, it can often seem like a prosaic affair. Legislators wander the floor of the House and Senate, while staffers pass around spreadsheets with lines of numbers and acronyms that represent various programs.

Our state representatives and senators need a human face to put with all of these line items. They need to know someone who would be impacted by their decision to eliminate a program or slash a funding stream. That’s what tomorrow’s event is all about – making a human connection to the programs and services that would be cut under Corbett’s proposed budget.

Before and after the rally at 1 p.m. on the Capitol steps, participants will go around the Capitol and talk with their representatives and senators. They will ask their elected officials to vote for a responsible budget, one that is fair and asks for shared sacrifice from all Pennsylvanians. There are alternatives to cutting and more cutting.

As members of APSCUF, we know the implications of a 50-percent cut to the State System. It would be devastating for our schools, our students and our communities. You probably know an anecdote about a gifted student that might not return next year if tuition jumps by thousands of dollars. Or maybe you know about a valuable program or course of study that is slated for the chopping block. These are the stories that our state legislators need to hear, and they need to hear them from you.

It’s not too late to join the Rally for a Responsible Budget. Here’s the page to register and arrange transportation: We hope to see you there.